Down for Anything
When Alice nibbled a morsel marked â€šÃ„Ãºeat me,â€šÃ„Ã¹ she grew to gigantic proportions before her limbs came bursting out of a suddenly too-tiny Wonderland house. When frontwoman Jenny Lewis took time off from her band Rilo Kiley to release a solo record, she grew from indie rock darling to critically acclaimed talent. Fortunately,Under the Blacklight proves that the redheaded beauty did not grow too big for her band. Rilo Kiley remains firmly intact and explores territory wide enough to accommodate star power and musical aspirations alike.On Under the Blacklight, the band embrace an unlikely combination of sophisticated soul and gutter-dirty sleaze rock with ease, aplomb and no trace of pretense. â€šÃ„ÃºSilver Liningâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has the feeling of an instant, minted classic. Guitarist Blake Sennett leads the charge with a lilting lick as Lewis unforgettably sings â€šÃ„ÃºI was your silver lining/But now Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m goldâ€šÃ„Ã¹ until she is joined by a rousing gospel choir. Lewis also observes, “Funny thing about money for sex/You might get rich, but you die by it” on “Close Call,” a song built on a guitar melody straight out of an old Turkish harem. Rilo Kiley blends the soulful and the sordid on “15,” a fearlessly old school song complete with horn section on which Lewis sings of the seduction of a 15-year old that is â€šÃ„Ãºdeep like a graveyardâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„Ãºdown for almost anything.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Under the Blacklight is imaginative, uninhibited and brave. Human warmth and depravity are celebrated with equal energy, which makes for an entertaining and refreshing experience. Listeners will surely sing along and may even find themselves doing â€šÃ„ÃºThe Smoke Detector,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a dance drolly suggested in the eponymous song.